THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE-1962-On the operating table an old doctor (Bruce Brighton) pronounces his patient dead, but Bill (Herb “soon to be Jason” Evers), another doctor who happens to be his son takes over and revives the patient.
While dad is proud of his arrogant son's accomplishment he still feels trepidation toward his actions (“The operating table is no place for experiments”). While debating this and Bill's ambition to do major limb transplants in the future (using his “secret compound”) their nurse Jan (Virginia Leith) enters. She also happens to be Bill's fiancee. Before they can have a romantic weekend Bill gets a mysterious urgent call from his “country place” where he does his experimenting.
With Jan in tow Bill drives like a maniac to the place but wrecks his car. He is somehow thrown from the car and unharmed but Jan isn't so lucky. She's decapitated in the fiery crash. Fortunately Bill retrieves the head, wraps it in his jacket and runs to the country place. With the help of his German assistant Kurt (Leslie Daniel) who has a deformed arm, Jan's head is placed in a pan with a lot of tubes and wires and is brought back to life! Meanwhile something hideous is locked in another room in the lab. Bill goes out looking for Jan's new body. He goes to a gin joint and tries to pick up a dancer. He sizes her up and she seems to fit the bill but he's deterred by another weird talking dancer. The two rivals wind up fighting on the floor. Meanwhile Jan's head develops some kind of psychic link with the thing in the closet (“Together we will reek our revenge”). Kurt debates with the head while Bill still looks for the perfect body which he believes he finds in Doris (Adele Lamont), a hot but scarred model who poses for “a bunch of neurotics”. Bill really shows his deceitful side when he convinces Doris to go to the country place so her face can be healed. Jan plots with the thing and eventually Kurt's good arm is torn off. Somehow Kurt now with only a bloody stump crawls up the lab stairs to the living quarters but when he gets there he crawls back down to the lab and dies! Bill drugs Doris and plans to put Jan's head on her body but Jan makes the thing break out of the closet and attack Bill. Their fight is kind of doofy, involving a door and the ugly monster biting a chunk out of Bill's arm and then examining the bloody piece he bit off. The monster is a huge guy with a deformed face (obviously a mask). He carries Doris away (God only knows what happened when she woke up!) and Jan and Bill burn to death.
This exploitation sickie was directed and co-written by Joseph Green who owned his own small film distribution company. It's too bad he waited 24 years to make his next and last film (THE PERILS OF P.K.). He seemed to know how to pack a lot of sleaze, gore and fun into one movie!
Jason Evers' egotistic oily doctor though supposedly only concerned with science by his semi-sinister grin when ogling a woman's body seems like he can't wait to bring her home and cut her up. While Virginia Leith's severed head role of Jan is pretty intense it's been said she was so disgusted by the role she gave up acting altogether (she's made her screen debut in Kubrick's first film FEAR AND DESIRE) though she made sporadic TV appearances later on (and is still with us at the time of this writing). Co-producer Rex Carlston later produced a couple of Al Adamson movies but committed suicide in 1968. For some reason Sammy Petrillo (who with Duke Mitchell met a Brooklyn gorilla some years before) appears as a photographer in one scene.
BRAIN was filmed (around Tarrytown, NY) in 1959 but due to financial troubles wasn't released until 1962.
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